Hornets survive Suns’ fourth-quarter surge to halt five-game slide
Charlotte’s Marvin Williams drives against Phoenix’s Elfrid Payton. AP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dwight Howard had 30 points and 12 rebounds, Nic Batum flirted with a triple-double and the Charlotte Hornets held on to beat the Phoenix Suns, 122-115, on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) to snap a five-game losing streak.

Batum added 29 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Marvin Williams chipped in with 16 points as the Hornets won despite nearly squandering a 22-point fourth quarter lead to a Suns team playing without star Devin Booker.

The Hornets led by eight at halftime and seemed ready to put this one on cruise control after outscoring the Suns 35-21 in the third quarter behind 14 points from Batum.

But Phoenix wouldn't go away.

The Suns cut the lead to two with less than a minute to go as Dragan Bender and Troy Daniels combined for five 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter. However, Elfrid Payton's potential go-ahead 3-pointer bounced off the front rim with less than 2 minutes remaining, and Batum buried his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 51 seconds left to give Charlotte some breathing room.

Howard and Batum each added two clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the win for Charlotte (29-38).

It was Howard's second straight 30-point game for the Hornets and it marked his 18th game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, eighth-most in the NBA.

Daniels had 17 points and Bender had 16 for the Suns (19-49), who have lost 11 of their last 12.

Booker did not play because of a strained triceps.


Suns: Along with Booker, Josh Jackson (knee), T.J. Warren (back spasms), Brandon Knight (torn ACL) and Alan Williams (torn meniscus) were also out. ... Tyler Ulis had 11 points and 10 assists for the Suns.

Hornets: Cody Zeller did not play due to knee soreness. ... Frank Kaminsky had 16 points, but Charlotte's reserves were outscored 47-28.


Suns: Host Cavaliers on Tuesday.

Hornets: Visit Pelicans on Tuesday.

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